What is Causing Your Blackheads & How Can You Treat Them?
Who doesn’t like to have clean and clear skin? But blackheads are a common
type of skin condition that everyone usually faces at some point in their
But what are blackheads?
Blackheads are a common skin condition that primarily affects the face,
neck, back, and chest. There are several causes, including too much oil on your
skin and irritation of your hair follicles. Blackheads are most common in
adolescents, but they can occur at any age.
Acne is characterized by blackheads (acne vulgaris). They are generally
referred to as open bumps on the skin that fill with dead skin and excess oil.
Although blackheads are sometimes confused with pimples, they are not!
Pimples are small, painful bumps with a thick, white-yellow fluid (pus) at the
How common are blackheads?
Blackheads are extremely common. According to some research, blackheads
affect nearly everyone at some point in their lives. They are most common in
adolescents, but up to 10% to 20% of adults have them as well.
What are the main causes of blackheads?
Blackheads form when a clog or plug forms in the opening of your skin’s
hair follicles. Each follicle contains one hair and an oil-producing sebaceous
gland. This oil, known as sebum, keeps your skin soft.
A comedo is formed when dead skin cells and oils accumulate in the opening
to the skin follicle. If the bump remains closed, it is referred to as a
whitehead. And if the skin over the bump remains open, the air causes it to
appear black and a blackhead to form.
Numerous factors can raise acne and blackheads, including:
– Too much body oil production.
– Propionibacterium acnes bacteria buildup on the skin.
– Hair follicle irritation occurs when dead skin cells are not shed
– Going through hormonal changes that cause an increase in oil production
during adolescence, menstruation, or while taking birth control pills.
– Certain drugs such as corticosteroids, lithium, or androgens
– Some food and drink can have an impact on acne and blackheads. Dairy
products and foods that raise blood sugar levels, such as carbohydrates, may
contribute to acne.
How can we prevent blackheads and treat them?
Following are some ways you can consider preventing the formation of
Many acne drugs are available without a prescription at drug and
supermarket stores or even online. These medications are available in creams,
gels, and pads that are applied directly to the skin.
The medications contain active ingredients such as salicylic acid, benzoyl
peroxide, and resorcinol. They eliminate microorganisms, absorb excess oil, and
force the skin to shed dead skin cells.
If over-the-counter treatments do not work, consult your dermatologist and
get prescribed medicines. Vitamin A-containing medications prevent plugs from
forming in hair follicles and promote faster skin cell turnover. There are some
medicated creams like tretinoin, tazarotene, and adapalene.
Your doctor may prescribe another
topical therapy containing benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics if you have pimples
or cysts with blackheads.
Dermatologists or skin care professionals use specialized equipment called
a round loop extractor to remove the block that causes the blackhead. The
doctor then uses tools like the extractor to remove the blockage after making a
small gap in the plug.
During microdermabrasion, a doctor,
skin care professional, or dermatologist operates using a specific instrument
with a rough surface to remove the top layers of the skin. Clogs that produce
blackheads are removed by rubbing the skin.
Chemical Peels also help clear clogs and remove dead skin cells that cause
blackheads. A peel is performed by applying a powerful chemical solution to the
skin. Over time, the top layers of skin peel away, revealing smoother skin
beneath. Dermatologists or other skincare professionals perform stronger peels.
Mild peels are accessible over the counter.
Light and laser therapy
To reduce oil production or kill bacteria, laser, and light therapies use
tiny powerful light beams. Both lasers and light beams can treat blackheads and
acne beneath the skin’s surface without harming the top layers of the skin.
What can be done to avoid blackheads besides medications?
Along with medications and treatments, you must develop a good skincare
regime and a healthy lifestyle to avoid blackheads.
Here are a few recommendations you can adopt in daily life to keep
blackheads away without spending a lot of money:
Wash your face regularly.
Washing the face after waking up and before going to bed removes the excess
oil. Though cleaning your face is necessary, do not overdo it. 2-3 times are
recommended; more than that can irritate your skin and exacerbate acne.
Choose the correct cleanser.
Your cleanser must not irritate or aggravate your skin. Antibacterial
components in several acne cleansing solutions kill P. acne bacteria.
Do not forget to cleanse your face after having oily foods like pizza,
fries, etc., as oily food can block pores.
Also, wash your hair every day, especially if your hair is oily. Hair oils
can cause clogged pores.
Use products that aren’t greasy or
To avoid aggravating your problem, use oil-free or non-comedogenic
cosmetics, lotions, and sunscreens.
Exfoliate the skin.
Exfoliating scrubs and masks can help eliminate blackheads by removing dead
skin cells from your face. Look for items that will not bother your skin.
Avoid oily and greasy food.
Maintain a healthy diet, and if your skin type is oily, do not consume packaged
or oily food as they can increase the buildup of blackheads and acne. Also,
engage in some physical activity.
If your blackhead is severe and needs treatment, do not hesitate to get
consulted by skin experts. For consultations or appointments, you can connect
with the experienced dermatologists of Sakhiya Skin Clinic on the given
toll-free number 1800 1200 70000.